The Book and the Sword

The Book And The Sword

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The Book and the Sword

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The Book and the Sword is the debut wuxia novel by Jin Yong. It was first serialized between February 8, 1955 and September 5, 1956 in The New Evening Post in Hong Kong.

Set in the Qing Dynasty during the rule of the Qianlong Emperor, the novel details the quest of the Red Flower Society, an organisation aimed at overthrowing the government, and their entanglements with an Islamic tribe in Central Asia. The "book" in the title refers to a Qur'an stolen from the tribe. Historical characters such as the Qianlong Emperor, Zhaohui (兆惠), Heshen, Zheng Xie and Fu Kang'an are also mentioned in the novel. One of the female protagonists, Princess Fragrance, is loosely based on the Qianlong Emperor's Fragrant Concubine.

This debut novel quickly established Jin Yong as one of the new masters of the wuxia genre. Alternate English titles of the novel are Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge and The Romance of the Book and Sword.


The Red Flower Society is a secret society that aims to overthrow the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty and restore Han Chinese rule in China. The society is led by a total of fifteen leaders with Chen Jialuo as its chief. Wen Tailai, the fourth leader of the society, is arrested on the Qianlong Emperor's orders. Wen Tailai holds the key to a secret behind the emperor's birth and the emperor wants to silence...
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